As a mother of three active and athletic children, there is no shortage of aches and pains that come home. A basic cold stone or cryomassage followed by warm stones is one of the techniques I have used to help with any muscle discomfort. In addition, the oil I usually reach for is Arnica Oil.
Arnica Montana is a flowering perennial and looks similar to a daisy. Its flowers are yellow-orange in color with stems that are round and hairy and leaves are bright green. Other common names are Wolf’s Bane, Leopard’s Bane, Mountain Tobacco and Mountain Arnica. It’s native to Europe but can also be found in North America especially in the mountainous regions.
Arnica Oil is great for muscle aches, spasms, stiffness and pulled muscles. It helps to lessen inflammation and swelling from sprains, bruises and edema due to fractures. Its medicinal properties help to stimulate the flow of blood cells and moves congested fluids from joints, muscles, and bruised tissue. It is a natural remedy for DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness and has positive effects on muscle soreness after marathon running. Arnica Oil is also good for rheumatic pain and arthritis flare-ups.
Most health food stores have a variety of Arnica oils and salves but I like to make it myself. I prefer to solar infuse the dried herbs (purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs) with my favorite grape seed oil. Other oils may be used but grape seed has always been my favorite for massaging. It’s high in antioxidant and is easily absorbed by the skin to locks moisture in. After 6 weeks of steeping in the sun, it’s ready to use. There is also the crockpot method of steeping, which is much faster than the solar method. I favor the old fashion way believing that the sun and moon can energetically charge the oil. I keep the oil in a dark glass bottle stored in a cool dry place.
When ready to use, I pour some in my wooden massage bowl just enough for the massage and add other essential oils. If your massage therapist does not have Arnica Oil, you can always purchase or make some for yourself to use on your next massage appointment.
As a massage therapist, the herbs I use are for external use only. It is not recommended for internal or external use on pregnant women. As always, please consult a doctor and/or qualified herbalist before using this or any herb.
*All photography was taken by and belongs to Grace Crozier except profile (about Grace Therapy) photo. Profile photo was taken for and belongs to Victoria-Elle Crozier Harders.
Grace Crozier specializes in therapeutic bodywork. Her mission is to guide and support clients through their physical therapy and health. She believes that healing comes from a caring and nurturing environment. Her knowledge in several massage modalities, yoga and pilates allows for a unique focus on body alignment..